i am really enjoying the pumpkins from my garden this fall. and i smile at how little i did to deserve such a wonderful harvest! these are truly a gift. last fall i got some lovely sugar baby pie pumpkins from a friend's garden. but i had one left over that never got cooked and baked into something yummy or even put in the freezer for later. instead the poor thing was shuffled from the kitchen counter to the laundry room when the fall decorations gave way to christmas. then moved from the laundry room to the mud room when i cleaned one day. by now the pumpkin was looking pretty sad and slightly mushy. mark wondered why i was keeping it and i had to face it: i was not going to get around to cooking up that pumpkin. it had definitely gone by! so it was thrown outside into the flower bed. i noticed that a mouse found it and gnawed a hole in it to feast on the seeds. i'm sure it was quite a windfall for him so late in the winter when his store of seeds must be running low. spring finally came and what was left of the pumpkin was given to the chickens. i welcomed warmer weather and was anxious to get busy in my garden. it was then, while weeding my flower bed, that i noticed something sprouting, maybe sunflowers? i might have spilled some birdseed. but then i realized. these were volunteer pumpkin sprouts! what seemed like hundreds! i transplanted 3 small seedlings into the vegetable garden and sadly weeded out the rest. the little guys did not receive much attention from me over the summer. i think i gave it one good weeding and let nature do the watering. the result was 20 beautiful pie pumpkins, an undeserved gift!
(i know, that is quite a story to introduce this blog post!)
freshly pureed pumpkin
after cutting open the pumpkin, scoop out the inside seeds and pulp. (yes! i saved the seeds this time!) next, cut the pumpkin into chunks leaving the skin on. place in a large pot and add a few inches of water. cover and bring to a boil. turn down to a simmer and cook, covered, until pumpkin is soft. when cool enough to handle scoop pumpkin from the skins. puree in a food processor. drain pumpkin in a fine sieve for 10 or 15 minutes to remove any extra liquid. freeze in 2 cup quantities in freeze bags or containers. (2 cups roughly equals a small can of pumpkin)